Dan Cohen AUTHOR The combination of stringent spending caps and growing worldwide challenges “have left each of our military services underfunded, undersized, and unready to meet current and future threats,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) stated in a “dear colleague” letter intended to build support this week for action to lift the statutory cap on defense spending.McCain sent the letter on Friday, one day after he telling a Brookings Institution audience he plans to offer an amendment on the Senate floor to the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill to raise the spending cap by at least $17 billion.McCain’s plan for increasing Pentagon funding to restore shortfalls in readiness and capability contrasts with the approach House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) adopted in crafting his chamber’s version of the annual defense policy bill. The House measure calls for allocating $18 billion from the uncapped overseas contingency operations account (OCO) to base budget items not requested by the administration.If McCain’s amendment passes and is incorporated into the final version of the authorization bill, it would upend the two-year bipartisan budget agreement reached last year to lift the caps on both defense and non-defense spending.His letter details shortfalls each of the services is experiencing at the same time threats across the globe — including aggressive behavior by Russia and China, the emergence of the Islamic State and an escalation in cyberattacks on the United States — are breaking out.“These and other growing demands on our force have occurred with no commensurate increase in resources, so our military is being forced to raid funds that it needs now to restore readiness, maintain equipment and modernize its equipment,” McCain states.His letter lists a series of budget-driven cuts that would go ahead in the absence of additional funds for the Pentagon:downsizing the Navy, with no plan to reach a fleet of at least 323 ships;retiring the Navy’s 10th air wing;cancelling over 50 military construction projects; andunderfunding facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization, with the current budget funding only 74 percent of such requirements.Failure to raise the defense cap also would prevent the Senate from providing resources to rebuild the military’s readiness levels, freeze the drawdown of the Army and reverse the drawdown of the Marine Corps.“When the Senate takes up the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, I am committed to seeking solutions to give our service members the resources, training, and the equipment they need and deserve,” McCain said.
The Cure To Play Exclusive Sydney Shows cure-play-exclusive-sydney-shows-celebration-disintegration-30th-anniversary Facebook The band will play four exclusive dates at the Sydney Opera House in Australia as a part of Vivid LIVE Jennifer VelezGRAMMYs Feb 19, 2019 – 2:41 pm GRAMMY-nominated band the Cure is celebrating 30 years of their timeless Disintegration album with a series of special shows in Australia. The band will perform “Pictures Of You,” “Lovesong” and the rest of the classic album exclusively at the Sydney Opera House as a part of their Vivid LIVE programming celebrating music with curated performances May 24–28. The band previously played Vivid LIVE in 2011 with performances of Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds and Faith . Twitter The Cure To Play Exclusive Sydney Shows In Celebration Of ‘Disintegration’ 30th Anniversary Email News “We are delighted to be returning to @SydOperaHouse for four exclusive performances only at #VividLIVE this May celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disintegration,” the Cure tweeted. The band will also play seldom B-side performances, curated catalog cuts and perform with “evocative visual backdrops,” at the shows according to the Opera House. Disintegration has several well-loved fan favorites, and in a 2017 interview with the Recording Academy, video director Tim Pope, who has directed Cure videos including “Friday I’m In Love” and “Just Like Heaven” talked about why “Lullaby” is one of their many great songs:”That song was particularly lurid and vivid,” says Pope, “and it’s got one of my favorite lines: ‘And I feel like I’m being eaten/By a thousand million shivering furry holes.’ My god, where can you go wrong with a line like that?”RELATED: The Cure’s Robert Smith on “Lullaby”Pope directed the video for the song, which won Best British Video at the 1990 Brit Awards and shows front man Robert Smith in the likeness of Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. Information on how to attain tickets for the exclusive Sydney performances can be found on the opera house website. Greta Van Fleet Join GRAMMY Elite: “It’s A Massive Compliment”Read more
WILMINGTON, MA — The Town of Wilmington recently ratified collective bargaining agreements with two unions in town — the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1370 and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 1703, Unit 1 (custodians and building maintenance workers).Fire Fighters Union“Basically, the major terms of the agreement are a COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) of 2.5% retroactive July 1, 2018; a 2.75% COLA beginning July 1, 2019; and a 2.75% COLA beginning July 1, 2020.” announced Hull at last week’s Selectmen’s Meeting. “There’s a number of language clarifications in the contract. One of the things we obtained was confirmation that when someone is out on unpaid leave, they won’t accrue personal, sick or vacation time… There was also an adjustment to their uniform allowance, with an increase from $700 to $1,000.”Selectmen unanimously approved and executed the agreement without discussion. The town had been negotiating with the union since early 2018.Custodians & Building Maintenance Workers Union“The contract expired on July 1, 2018. We’ve been negotiating with them since early 2018. They’ve received COLAs of 2.5% retroactive July 1, 2018; a 2.5% COLA beginning July 1, 2019; and a 2.5% COLA beginning July 1, 2020,” explained Hull. “The agreement also contained language indicating employees on unpaid leave would not accrue benefits. In addition, employees have to notify the town 72 hours in advance if they’re requesting vacation time. And we’ve codified what happens when someone accrues personal time after they’ve been hired. There had been confusion on this matter that led to a grievance.”Selectmen approved and executed the agreement without discussion. Selectman McCoy abstained from the vote.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: DPW & Library Staff, Town Secretaries & Admin Assistants To Receive 7.5% Salary Increase Over 3 YearsIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town Enters Into New 3-Year Contract With Dispatchers UnionIn “Government”Wilmington Police Patrol Officers Sign New Agreement With TownIn “Government”
IndiGo aircraftReutersIndiGo airline has yet again made headlines for the wrong reasons as its staff allegedly forced out a group of 20 passengers who refused to deboard the flight at Patna airport. The incident is said to have happened on December 30 last year.Also Read: High and mighty IndiGo Airlines ground staff manhandles and abuses passenger; video goes viralRecently, a Parliamentary standing committee pulled up the budget carrier for the rude behaviour of its staff. The fresh allegation now has placed it right at the centre of another controversy.Here’s what happened:A passenger identified as Prasad Nandurkar pointed out that the staff first let the passengers board the flight and after few minutes asked everyone to move out, according to a Hindustan Times report.He shared the video on Facebook in which a group of passengers can be heard saying, “Who are you trying to threaten by telling that we’ll be forced out from the plane by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel?” Nandurkar alleged that IndiGo cancelled the flight after all passengers boarded.However, the budget airline clarified that the passengers were asked to de-board the flight as the visibility dropped to 50 metres at 8:20 pm, the scheduled departure time.In a statement, it said, “IndiGo flight 6E-633 (Kolkata-Patna-Lucknow) scheduled to depart from Patna on December 30 was cancelled due to bad weather and low visibility. The visibility dropped to 50 meters at the time of scheduled departure.”Further, the airline also claimed that the passengers were offered with an option of an alternate flight considering the inconvenience caused but a group of 20 passengers strongly denied it.While IndiGo asserted that the crew were asked to shut all the operations citing weather issue, they mentioned that group of passengers seemed pretty upset.Parliament committee reprimands IndiGoThe Parliamentary standing committee criticised IndiGo for the rude behaviour of its staff with the customers and called it an institutional error.The committee observed in its report that the airline has been discourteous and rude towards the passengers. “Being a leader in market share, IndiGo needs to look inward and find out the reasons for the discourteous attitude and rude and indifferent behaviour of their employees, whether it is their cabin crew or the ground staff.”The arrogance of the IndiGo staff should stop, it further said.#WATCH: IndiGo staff manhandle a passenger at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (Note: Strong language) pic.twitter.com/v2ola0YzqC— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017
Kilobots bring us one step closer to a robot swarm © 2012 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Tiny robot swarm able to play tunes on a virtual piano (w/ video) (2012, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-tiny-robot-swarm-tunes-virtual.html (Phys.org)—Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Georgia Robots and InTelligent Systems (GRITS) Laboratory have succeeded in programming a swarm of very tiny robots to figure out for themselves how to go about playing a tune on a virtual piano displayed on a flat plane. One of the robots is the leader, and knows the tune and where a robot needs to be to create the notes that make up the tune; that information is conveyed to the other robots that make up the swarm, and the result is the playing of the familiar classical tune, Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” More information: gritslab.gatech.edu/home/2011/ … er-follower-control/ Explore further With swarming, individual members take actions based on the location and actions of those around them. With this new research, the objective was to cause individual members of the swarm to appear at a certain location on the virtual keyboard at a certain time to cause the playing of a note; necessary ingredients to create music. The catch though, was that only one of them, the designated leader, was “told” what those data points were beforehand. Thus, the leader had to convey to the other bots where they needed to be and when. The team added some other elements to the goal to increase the difficulty of the assignment, which should theoretically help in learning more about how to program swarms. They wanted the bots to use the fewest number of themselves possible to play a song together, based on the tempo of the song (and to use the shortest routes possible all while avoiding collisions). If a song is played slow enough, for example, it could be performed by one little robot racing across the virtual keyboard (or by a person using just one finger perhaps on a real piano). As the tempo picks up, it becomes impossible for one bot to get the next note in time for the song to play correctly, thus another bot is added, starting a swarm.What’s remarkable about the playing bots is that the leader doesn’t just tell every other bot where it’s supposed to be, instead, it conveys information to those nearest to it, which in turn convey information to those nearest them, and so on. In this way, each robot is able to work out for itself where it is supposed to be and when – which is how it’s supposed to be, because that’s how swarming works in the natural world. The robots, called Khepera bots by the team, are very small, just 5.5 centimeters across their thimble shaped bodies. Each has a host of sensors, including in their little hats and antenna and two wheels to allow for moving around. The whole idea is to create swarming behavior that mimics that seen in nature with birds, fish, etc.